Carnaval: Latino/a Student Association celebrates Brazilian holiday

On April 28, the Latino/a Student Association (LSA) celebrated Carnaval in Firstenburg Student Commons. Attendees enjoyed Brazilian food, Samba performances and dance lessons. The LSA usually has a Cinco de Mayo celebration, but according to Bianca Meza, a senior in human development and president of the LSA, they “wanted to bring in a new part of Latina culture” this year.

The celebration began with Marcelo Diversi, a human development professor at WSU Vancouver, giving information about Carnaval. In Brazil Carnaval lasts four days, beginning the Friday before Ash Wednesday. The celebrating is done around the clock for four days straight, and is filled with parades, food, song and dance. Carnaval is such an all-encompassing celebration in Brazilian culture that almost the entire country shuts down for it, only a small amount of businesses remain open.

The Brazilian cuisine was provided by La Costa, a local restaurant. La Costa created the Brazilian menu specifically for the LSA’s celebration. Danny Bejan, a sophomore majoring in biology, stated that the “food was really good,” which many others in attendance concurred with.

The Samba performances and lessons were done by the Bahia Brazil Art Center in Portland. The three performers, Sheyla Mattos, Kristie and Carmen, did a total of three dances before calling the attendees onto the dance floor to teach them basic moves. Mattos, who has been dancing for seventeen years, led the lessons for the attendees. She gives lessons at the art center as well.

Meza and others involved in the LSA felt that this was a great turnout and they “might do this again,” Meza said. Those in attendance held the general opinion that the event was “awesome.”

To learn more about the Latino/a Student Association contact Bianca Meza at: bianca.meza@email.wsu.edu

For those interested in watching/learning Samba, more information about the Bahia Brazil Art Center is available online at bahiabrazilartcenter.com/

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